Upstate Girls
a layered documentary project started by Brenda Ann Kenneally
and The Team of Volunteer Producers
Project Overview

The Final output for The Upstate Girls project will be over four platforms;

  • A traveling gallery installation that will combine a print series edited along the chronology of each woman’s story that will show her emotional shift as she sees possibilities for the future become more distant - and video installations that should create a visceral space to experience the chaos, boredom, futility and desperation of being marginalized in The Untied States.
  • A disposable book will be designed and printed in graphic novel layout to give historical context to very personal contemporary stories. These graphic novels will be used in participatory workshops with teenagers in Upstate New York neighborhoods similar to Troy, in an effort to engage them with the history that has such social relevance in their lives today.

    To facilitate these workshops, I have arranged to partner with The Sanctuary for Independent Media; an organization located directly in the Girls’ neighborhood and dedicated to fostering social change through art as activism and the Rensselaer County Historical Society to ensure historic accuracy and further the society's mission: "Every Face Every Story".

    By using the graphic novel as a study guide and example, the women will respond by creating their own visual record via gathering photographs and ephemera and writing passages to bear witness to their own past and validate the culture that has been created by our contemporary social policies.

    The terms graphic novel and scrapbook will be interchangeable as they relate to the history that has shaped the Troy neighborhood and the region in Upstate, New York where we will concentrate our efforts.
  • There will be an expanded online component of the series to be released as a series over a year,
  • and, finally I will use the video that I have and will continue to gather to produce a feature length documentary – also to be released via our web blog
Upstate Girls is supported through the award of competitive grants and the journalist's personal funds. You can help by purchasing fine prints (e-mail Brenda), or through tax deductible donations through our 501(c)(3) partner, the Sanctuary for Independent Media.

Past supporters have included Christina Cahill, Alberto Guzman, Gillian Laub, Diane and David Kent, Daniel Portnoy, Amanda Silverman and Leanne Ridel.
Upstate Girls; what Became of Collar City by Brenda Ann Kenneally, Laura LoForti, Murray Cox and Steven Zeswitz is copryright Brenda Ann Kenneally.
No unauthorized copies or use is allowed. Please contact for licensing.